Turning an idea into an action is always harder than it sounds. You make a whole big list of things you want to do, things you want to make or write, a whole long bunch of possibilities, and in all likelihood you end up doing less than half of them. Or that’s how it usually ends up working for me. I write lots of lists and put them on my wall, to do lists, screeds of goals, and daily reminders, many of which I end up not completing. I fill notebooks with ideas, and then wonder if I’ll ever actually bring them into reality. I look at my bucket list (Yes, I’m 20 years old and I have a bucket list. It’s never too early to start, you know!) and wonder how many of the things I’ve written down I’ll actually manage to do. I also wonder if some of the things I have written down are too ambitious, then I remember that I may as well try, or what’s the point in having a bucket list? In any case I decided to think about my New Year’s Resolution early, and how maybe I should try and make more of my ideas actions.
There are a lot of things I want to do in life. “What can I say, I wanna do everything. Is that too much to ask?” Now I know quoting Caroline Farrell from Dollhouse might not be the best example, but what I am trying to say is that I have always been ambitious, and I don’t plan for that to change any time soon. Many would probably call it naivety, but I like to think of it as the only way to ever challenge myself and get what I want out of life. I have one main goal I want to achieve in my brief existence, and if I can achieve that in any small way, then I’ll be happy. However, achieving it will require turning my ideas into actions, actually doing the things I want to do. Yet I find either I’m too busy with other more pressing matters, or I’m so scared that it won’t work that I procrastinate. That’s one problem with being a perfectionist, or at least trying to be. You get so afraid of the disappointment if it’s not as good as you want it to be, that you put it off until you have to rush it, or just don’t do it at all, because at least then you can say you didn’t put your all into it and that’s why it wasn’t that good. I’ve been trying to get out of that mindset though, being afraid of failure and therefore not trying, is quite honestly worse than trying and failing. So in attempt to overcome this, I think I’ll have to start setting aside time specifically for achieving certain things. Finish that script. Plan those essays. Mail those letters. Ask about the damn tai chi class you are dying to start. And for God’s sake, an hour of pure Chinese character revision a day isn’t that bad, just get on with it!
It sounds so simple when you write it down, but at the same time I’m not sure exactly how it helps motivate me. See, I’m a post-it person. If I don’t write it down, I will probably forget about it till I’m lying in bed trying to remember what I’ve forgotten (think Neville and his remembrall), so my walls are usually covered with reminders, post-it ideas for essays or blog entries, birthdays, deadlines, the whole lot all up around my room. If I can see it, then I’ll want to tick it off so it doesn’t feel like the words are staring at me any more. Which is helpful usually, but sometimes they turn into guilt trips because there are some errands I just end up putting off. Either way, I eventually get them done if I stare at the notes long enough. I just hate how long it can take me to do such simple tasks. It’s true that things are much easier when you just start them, it’s just the anticipation of the thing that is the most stressful part. I guess it’s just a case of sucking it up and getting on with it really. In school you have your teachers, and parents, and peers all reminding you that you have to do this, that, and the other thing, but once you leave school, that stops. You are simply left to get on with it. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just how the world works. Independence and intuition become essential skills in surviving and thriving, so when it comes to acting on at least some of my many ideas, I think it’s time to practice those skills some more.
I think the key for me will be to try to stop being so afraid of failure. Sometimes you screw up, but if you don’t try, you’ll never know what you can do. Pushing myself to just get on with things will be hard, especially when at the moment I would rather be at home watching the new Gilmore Girls episodes with my parents, but hey, I’m going through the character building experience which is life. Who said it was going to be easy? So now I’m going to get off the internet and get on with my homework, like I should have done about two hours ago… I’m a work in progress okay, habits don’t just change overnight! So yeah, time to take the next step in getting better at adulting and just doing my best to get on with everything I want to do. Wish me luck?